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Moonraker

Photography at UK camps

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Moonraker

Photographs, often in postcard form, abound of units in camp from about 1904 to well into the Great War and many were taken by local photographers. But I have a few cases of a photographer apparently accompanying or visiting his local unit, examples in Wiltshire including:

F N Broderick, with Isle of Wight County Rifles at Bustard 1910

Davies from New Ferry, with 13th Cheshire, at Codford late 1914

Wills Jones from Rhyl, with Denbighshire Yeomanry, at Pond Farm 1909

James Soame from Oxford, at Tidworth, dates unknown

Mrs Albert Broom from Fulham, with the Household Cavalry, Windmill Hill, late 1914 (Mrs Broom apparently started her photographic career at Chelsea Barracks in 1902)

The photographers' main aim was to take general pictures of the camps and small groups of soldiers for sale on the spot so T Atkins could send them home to kith and kin. Presumably they all used heavy cameras utilising glass plates; how easy were these to process? Was a darkened room and a basin or bowl all that were necessary, thus requiring only a room in the person's digs, or even in a tent?

Many modern unit histories, notably the excellent Pals A4 paperback series, also feature posed, formal shots of an entire company, or all officers, in camp. Were these taken by local photographers or by a suitably skilled man from the unit itself? I suspect they were taken shortly before the unit left for active service. Certainly very few became postcards, most Wiltshire ones being of course members at Bulford.

Moonraker

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Richard Osgood

Moonraker,

any images of Australians (especially 3rd Div) in any of the Wiltshire camps to your knowledge? As you may know, along with a colleague, I am looking at the 3rd Divs presence on the Plain and alll images appreciated! Do you have any images with idetifiable backgrounds, thus enabling the viewer to do a 'before' and 'after'? There is a cracking photo of some Australian soldiers outside the Bustard pub c 1916. Bar satelite dish and platic urns, the pub has changed very little.

cheers

Richard

Photographs, often in postcard form, abound of units in camp from about 1904 to well into the Great War and many were taken by local photographers. But I have a few cases of a photographer apparently accompanying or visiting his local unit, examples in Wiltshire including:

F N Broderick, with Isle of Wight County Rifles at Bustard 1910

Davies from New Ferry, with 13th Cheshire, at Codford late 1914

Wills Jones from Rhyl, with Denbighshire Yeomanry, at Pond Farm 1909

James Soame from Oxford, at Tidworth, dates unknown

Mrs Albert Broom from Fulham, with the Household Cavalry, Windmill Hill, late 1914 (Mrs Broom apparently started her photographic career at Chelsea Barracks in 1902)

The photographers' main aim was to take general pictures of the camps and small groups of soldiers for sale on the spot so T Atkins could send them home to kith and kin. Presumably they all used heavy cameras utilising glass plates; how easy were these to process? Was a darkened room and a basin or bowl all that were necessary, thus requiring only a room in the person's digs, or even in a tent?

Many modern unit histories, notably the excellent Pals A4 paperback series, also feature posed, formal shots of an entire company, or all officers, in camp. Were these taken by local photographers or by a suitably skilled man from the unit itself? I suspect they were taken shortly before the unit left for active service. Certainly very few became postcards, most Wiltshire ones being of course members at Bulford.

Moonraker

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Moonraker
Moonraker,

any images of Australians (especially 3rd Div) in any of the Wiltshire camps to your knowledge? Do you have any images with idetifiable backgrounds, thus enabling the viewer to do a 'before' and 'after'?

cheers

Richard

Richard

I'm sure you've ploughed through the excellent Australian War Memorial photographic archive, though from memory few have identifiable backgrounds. Such images that I have include:

1. parade in Lavington (dunno whether Market or West)

2. soldiers of various nationalities including Australians outside building in Warminster/Corton area

3. dedication of Cross of Sacrifice (memorial to Australian dead) Sutton Veny Church 1923 (civilians only, no soldiers)

4. unveiling Australian Memorial, Durrington Cemetery (Australians soldiers present). I've yet to date this event - 1919, I would guess.

1 & 2 have distinctive buildings in the background.

After the Australians arrived in Wiltshire in 1916, postcard photography seems to have dried up; there are lots of earlier postcards of British units at the various Wiltshire camps but not many of Australians. By then censorship had tightened up and I supect that photography was more or less banned at many camps.

Let me have your email address by PM if you would like scans.

Moonraker

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CSMMo

One example I can give to the original question - the soldier who was interested in photography and developed the photos for those with cameras and film developed the negatives in the field using stream water at the end of the process. That is the reason why there are no negatives - no place to store them or care for them. The original prints were well guarded or sent home as they were all that there was. This was done in Gallipoli and Salonika by Gunner Henry MacNab of the 4th Highland Mountain Brigade and was documented in letters home.

Mike Morrison

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J T Gray

Moonraker,

This is forty years earlier but might perhaps give you an idea of what a travelling photographer got up to, and could do. Wet collodion was a considerably more fiddly process than the dry collodion plates or roll-film that would be in use by WW1 (in fact, you can still buy 120 and 127 film that will fit some WW1-era cameras in any good High Street!).

http://www.collodion-artist.com/

Street photographers selling you your image on a postcard were certainly common up until WW2, though I suspect that the growth in camera sales and the arrival of small point-and-click type cameras from various manufacturers in the 1950s probably did for them.

Quite how they processed their plates/films I am not sure, but I too have heard of a local photographer washing his plates in a spring that the rest of the village drank from - nice! Silver salts are less than good for you...

Adrian

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elgingero
Photographs, often in postcard form, abound of units in camp from about 1904 to well into the Great War and many were taken by local photographers. But I have a few cases of a photographer apparently accompanying or visiting his local unit, examples in Wiltshire including:

F N Broderick, with Isle of Wight County Rifles at Bustard 1910

Davies from New Ferry, with 13th Cheshire, at Codford late 1914

Wills Jones from Rhyl, with Denbighshire Yeomanry, at Pond Farm 1909

James Soame from Oxford, at Tidworth, dates unknown

Mrs Albert Broom from Fulham, with the Household Cavalry, Windmill Hill, late 1914 (Mrs Broom apparently started her photographic career at Chelsea Barracks in 1902)

I sent a private message, but I'm not sure it was sent.

I'm My G-Grandfather was in the 13th Cheshires, Pte G Davies, I'm just wondering if it could be the same person in the photography you have? do you think you could scan a copy of it for me to check?

I have his company photography from aldershot if you are interested in that?

Many thanks

El Gingero

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Moonraker
I sent a private message, but I'm not sure it was sent.

I'm My G-Grandfather was in the 13th Cheshires, Pte G Davies, I'm just wondering if it could be the same person in the photography you have? do you think you could scan a copy of it for me to check?

I have his company photography from aldershot if you are interested in that?

Many thanks

El Gingero

Message received, and just replied to. In fact the Davies I referred to was the postcard publisher, J Geo Davies from New Ferry. I have one distant view of the 13th Cheshire and three close-ups of platoons etc, all taken at Codford by Davies and presumably of the Cheshire Regiment; trouble is, it had four battalions at Codford in late 1914.

Moonraker

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